Academic nonpersistence among Latina/o college students: Examining cultural and social factors

Dagoberto Heredia, Brandy Piña-Watson, Linda G. Castillo, Lizette Ojeda, Miguel Ángel Cano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined behavioral and attitudinal domains of acculturation (e.g., adoption of White host culture norms) and enculturation (e.g., maintenance of traditional Latina/o norms), as well as the mediating role of intragroup marginalization (e.g., teasing from family members for not being Latina/o enough) and perceptions of the university environment, to test a culturally relevant understanding of academic nonpersistence attitudes among 129 Latina/o college students. Path analysis results indicated that individuals who practiced traditional Latina/o behaviors reported less teasing from family members for not being Latina/o enough, whereas individuals who had difficulty accepting traditional Latina/o values reported more teasing. Students who reported more teasing reported less confidence in their decision to attend and graduate from their university, whereas those who reported more positive perceptions of the university environment reported more confidence in their decision to further their education. Further, the relationship between nonpersistence and practicing traditional Latina/o behaviors was mediated, or explained, by the students' experience of being teased. Essentially, Latina/o students who expressed traditional Latina/o behaviors reported less teasing and in turn reported more confidence in their decision to attend and graduate from their university. These findings suggest that persisting Latina/o college students benefit from practicing traditional Latina/o behaviors and experiencing less teasing from family members for not being Latina/o enough. Implications for counselors, educators, and university administration are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Academic nonpersistence
  • Acculturation
  • Latina/o college students
  • Marginalization
  • University environment

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